Twisting Scripture

In Scripture, Soul Food, Videos on September 14, 2011 by The Spillover

It’s not popular to point out a particular pastor, or a particular church, or a particular denomination, when it comes to twisting scripture to appease itchy ears. When the person doing it is the pastor of the single largest church in America, well, sometimes it becomes a necessity. Notice the scripture reference at 3:15 of this video:

We have to be on guard with this sort of scripture “plucking” and we have to be vigilant about taking scripture passages in context. Let’s consider Hebrews 10:35 in light of the surrounding passages:

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. -Hebrews 10:32-35 (NIV)

Or in the NLT:

Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!

No, Mr. Osteen, the writer of the book of Hebrews was not telling us to keep our confidence so that we might lay hold of whatever “victory” we have chosen for ourselves. Quite the opposite, if you read the surrounding text. We’re told to cling to our confidence in Christ and the coming reward He has promised in Heaven, even in the face of terrible persecution.

People twist scripture to foment all sorts of human ideas. It’s nothing unique or uncommon. We have to be vigilant about holding all teachings up against the solid rock of scripture. Test them to see if they’re of truth. Because if they’re not, they’re not, no matter how popular the source of the teaching.

One Response to “Twisting Scripture”

  1. No, the irony of the bible-in-the-air declaration was not lost on me 🙂

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